Saturday, July 2, 2011

City Of Refuge

After visiting the coffee region of Kona, Mark and I drove to Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau, also known as the City of Refuge.

A reconstructed temple called the Hale o Keawe Heiau sits on the edge of the bay. Back in the 1500-1600's if someone broke a law (kapu) they could seek refuge here. The photo with the carved statues is the reconstructed heiau.

Next to the heiau is the former palace grounds. Reconstructed huts, games made out of stone, and fishing ponds were built for posterity to get a sense of how royalty lived back then.

As we walked out of the grounds, feeling like we could sense Ali'i from centuries ago, paddlers entered the bay. Were they seeking a sort of refuge in the water?

Kona Coffee

We took another three day trip to the Big Island. This time, we stayed in Kona and went sightseeing over the entire island.

Our first stop was to the Kona coffee region and Kona Joe's coffee. "Joe" is an orthopedic surgeon from California and friends with my podiatrist in San Francisco. Kona Joe's closes up early. After leaving the rental car place at Kona airport we arrived at Kona Joe's at 2:30. No more tour and they were out of free coffee samples.

I bought a few small bags of their Trellis grown reserve. Oh, my. Coffee never tasted so good.

Since we missed out on the tour, we drove on to Greenwell Farms. There is a reason for everything, because the tour at Greenwell Farms was fantastic. Everyone was friendly. The tour guide was local and shared with us his personal coffee experiences from growing up. I'm a coffee fan and I learned much.

Their farm dog came on the tour with us. She laid down when we stopped and walked alongside us when we toured.

After the tour, we sampled 10 different coffee types and two chocolate covered coffee beans. Oh, maybe that's why the tours end early, otherwise people will stay awake from all the caffeine.

Greenwell is the place to go for a Kona coffee tour.

Photos are of a coffee tree, an apple-banana tree, the farm cat and local coffee growers dropping off coffee beans.